posted by KatherineLondon
"Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk
Take away the pain
'cause I see sparks fly whenever you smile..."
I danced around the store as I refilled all the candy jars. It was ten a.m. on a Monday morning so I wasn't expecting many people to be stopping by the small sweets shop. I did an arabesque, dancing to the music. I used to take dance lessons when I was younger but stopped so I could focus on my studies. I didn't realize how badly I missed dancing until the second I started again. The music blared throughout the entire store; I couldn't hear anything over it, not even when the bell attached to the door jingled, signaling someone had entered, or more precisely, five someone's.
As the song went on, I started to move my body more freely. I moved my hips seductively with my arms above my head. All too soon, the song ended. As the last musical chord faded gently away, someone clearing their throat pulled me out of my blissful little world. "Oh goodness" I whispered breathlessly, whipping my head to the front of the store. Five boys, all around my age stood in a staggered line in front of the door staring at me, each occasionally stealing worried glances over their shoulder to the store front. I rushed over to the counter and pulled my oversized cream cardigan closed, the thin tank top underneath it disappearing. "I'm so sorry; I didn't hear you come in. Can I help you with anything?" I asked, trying to resurrect what was left of my dignity.
The guy standing on the outer left edge of the group, the one with long curly hair stepped behind the counter where I stood with a big smile, "Oh no, we're sorry for interrupting your dance party, love." his alluring English accent drawing me in. I stared at the ground and ran my hand through my long hair, something I did when I was nervous. Before anything else could be said, the sound of screaming girls outside in the street captured everybody's attention. The boys all exchanged nervous looks. One of the other boys pulled down the pull shade on the door, locked the door, and turned to me. "I know this is a weird request, but might you have a back room or something that we could use?" The other boys nodded in agreement. I looked at them all, suddenly suspicious as to why they were here and why they seemed to be hiding. "You guys aren't like, ax murderers on the run or anything, right?" the blond boy of the group spoke now. "No, no, nothing like that..." he had an accent that differed from the others. "We haven't killed anyone. At least not in the past year or so." the cute boy standing next to me chimed in again. "Harry, not now, mate." the boy with the perfectly tousled brown hair spoke in a frustrated tone.
A sudden sharp banging on the front door made me jump. The boys seemed to jump too. "So what about that room?" one of them asked, stepping deeper into the shop. I pointed to the back of the shop where there was a door with a sign on it that read: 'Employees only'. The boys all rushed in as the banging on the door got more aggressive. Once the back door was closed, I ran to the front of the store and opened the door, giving a little smile to the crowd of girls waiting impatiently. "Has One Direction stopped by here?" a girl in the front of the crowd asked. My brow furrowed, "I'm sorry, what?" I asked, genuinely confused. The girl laughed, "One Direction, the boy band. They were on X Factor in the UK..." I slowly shook my head, "I've never heard of them before." The girl went slack jawed. "Did five guys come in here today?" the girl asked again, trying a different approach. I shook my head. "No, you're the first people in here today." I lied. The girl she had been talking to wilted a little. "I could've sworn I saw them come in here...thank you." the girl said politely, heading away from the store. "I'm sorry I couldn't be more help." I called after her, feeling bad for lying to someone who seemed to be a perfectly nice girl.
I shut the door and locked it again. "You can come out now." I called, heading back behind the counter and sitting on a stool. One by one, the boys ventured out of the little back room with caution. "So you're a band." I stated. The boys nodded sheepishly. "Do you make a habit out of hiding from your fans?" The guys all looked a little hurt by my assumption. "Of course not, we love our fans. We're just trying to keep a low profile today..." the blond one with the Irish accent explained. "Our...Paul doesn't exactly know where we are and if we make a huge scene here he will kill us." Irish explained. None of the boys really knew Paul's official job title. Security expert? Tour manager? Bodyguard? Friend? One Direction babysitter? He fit in all of those categories so the boys just referred to him by name.
"Thank you for helping us out. I'm Liam, by the way." Liam walked over to me and extended his hand out. I shook his hand with a small smile on my lips. "I'm Mackenzie." The rest of the boys then went in order and introduced themselves like they had done it a thousand times before, which they probably had. Everyone except for the boy with the curly hair had introduced themselves. He was busy looking around at all the candy with wide eyes like a five year old. Everybody stared at him, waiting for him to say his name. When he didn't, Louis walked over to him and wrapped his arm around his shoulders, shaking him a bit. "And this is Harry. You'll have to excuse him; he has the attention span of a gnat." My smile widened. I began to wonder how famous they actually were, they just seemed so down to Earth, like a regular group of friends you would meet a school. "You're just lucky he has kept his clothes on for this long." Niall piped up.
That got Harry's attention. "Is that a challenge?" he asked, already lifting his shirt up, revealing his toned stomach. Liam rushed over and pulled Harry's shirt back down, "Whoa mate, we're in the company of a lady." Harry locked eyes with me as a wicked smile appeared on his face. "All the more reason." Harry became even more determined than before to get his clothes off. Eventually, Liam gave up trying to keep Harry dressed. Harry stripped his blazer and shirt off and threw it over to me. Most of the boys went about normally, like seeing Harry naked was a regular occurrence. They walked around the store, looking at all of the candy with the exception of Niall, who was in the corner, holding his sides and laughing hysterically. Louis suddenly ran over to me and held his hands up in front of my eyes. "Hurry, shut your eyes! Don't look directly at it. Protect your innocence, Kenzie!" he shouted loudly which sent Niall into another fit of laughter.
"So do you work here?" Zayn asked, completely ignoring everything else that was going on. "Uh, no. This is my older sister's shop. She just had a baby so I'm helping out this week." I explained, trying to ignore the insane laughing, my half shielded eyes, and naked Harry. 'Ding!' Zayn dug his phone out of his pocket and looked down at the screen. "Uh, I think Paul just realized we aren't in our hotel rooms..." he announced. "Harry, put your pants back on, we should head back before he has a brain aneurysm." Liam ordered, taking charge. Harry sighed, "Fine, but hold on a second." Harry slipped his clothes back on and rushed over to wear I sat. He slapped a crisp one hundred dollar bill on the counter and ran around the store frantically, collecting candy as he went. The money was more than enough to cover the amount of candy he held by the end. The other boys each also took a few things. "Keep the change, babes!" Harry called as the band left the store. The boys said their thanks and headed out behind Harry.
It took a second for me to start moving again. I was still trying to understand what had just transpired. My hand slowly reached for the money and slid it towards me to put in the cash register. When I picked up the bill, something fell to the ground. I knelt down and picked it up. It was a concert ticket to the One Direction concert being held at the L.A. Staples Center tonight. Without thinking, I ran out of the store and caught up with the five boys who were climbing into a black Cadillac Escalade. "I think you forgot this." I said, holding the ticket out to Harry. He looked down at the ticket and smiled, then shook his head. "No I didn't. That's for you. You should come tonight, since you saved us and everything." I looked down at the ticket. "I'll leave your name with the security people so you can get back stage. Just tell them you're Kenzie Candyshop." I looked back up to Harry who was staring intently at me. "But that's not my name..." I tried telling him. Harry shut the door, creating a barrier between us, but rolled down the window so they could continue to speak. "Really? I'm pretty sure that's right..." The car started moving. "See you tonight, Candyshop!" he shouted, sticking the entire upper half of his body out the window, waving enthusiastically. An arm grabbed the collar of his blazer and pulled him back into the safety of the car.
I watched in stunned amazement as the car became smaller and smaller as it rode into the distance. Once it disappeared completely, I walked back to the store on auto pilot, trying to process what just happened. I went through the rest of the day giving minimal effort, distracted by the ticket that sat on the counter in front of me. Once the clock struck six, I closed the shop up, happy that the day was finally over and I could be alone. I had some things to sort out.
I pulled my laptop out from under the counter and turned it on. I waited a few seconds before it came to life, the sudden brightness from the screen hurting my eyes. I typed my log in information in and was greeted with my Eiffel Tower desktop wallpaper background. I clicked on the little Safari icon and went to Google. I looked down at the ticket and typed in the band name, One Direction. I figured it would be a good idea to learn a little about them before going to a concert. Hundreds of millions of results popped up. I clicked on the first one I saw about their concerts. It talked about how the boys would pick thirty to forty girls to bring backstage after a show to entertain themselves with. Was that why Harry invited me? I didn't want to be one of those girls so I decided I wouldn't go. They probably wouldn't even realize I wasn't there.